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Ok, this sounds complicated, but it's not. It just takes a little time.

Take a large stainless steel or enamel pot.
Place a brick or stone on the bottom of it.
Surround the rock with the herb you wish to distill. The herbs should come to about the top of the rock.
Pour in water to just cover the herbs.
Place a small stainless stel, glass, or enamel bowl on top of the rock.
Find a stainless steel or enamel bowl that will fit onto the top of the pot - rather like a lid.
There should be an inch or two clearance between the two bowls.

Now, place a chunk of ice in the upper bowl. Try not to use ice cubes - they melt too quickly.
Gently simmer the herbs.
Remove and replace the melted ice from time to time.
This process takes about 3 hours.

As the steam rises, it hits the bottom of the top bowl, which is cold. It condenses and drops into the smaller bowl.

After a while, look into the small bowl. Do you see "oil slicks" floating on top? That's your essential oil.

I like to use dried plant material. It's easier to come by in bulk. Also a lot of water has been already removed, leaving more oil behind. It takes longer to distill dried - but well worth it.

I've made several types of hydrosols: lavender, sage, rose, etc.
Keep in mind that the woodier the plant, the loner it's going to take.

These waters can be used in different ways.
Put some in your bath.
Mix half and half with witch hazel or alcohol for a body splash.
Substitute a hydrosol for water in any cream or lotion recipe.
I store mine in the refrigerator. They should last 6 month if stored this way.


Oily/Problem Skin

1/4 cup sage hydrosol
1/4 cup witch hazel
10 drops tea tree essential oil

Pour into a bottle. Shake before using and apply with a cotton ball. You can omit the tea tree oil if your skin is clear but oily. Or you can substiue lemon essential oil.

Normal Skin

1/4 cup lavender hydrosol
1/4 cup witch hazel
10 drops lavender essential oil

Pour into a bottle. Shake before using and apply with a cotton ball.

Dry/Damaged Skin

1/4 cup rose hydrosol
1/4 cup witch hazel
1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
10 drops sandalwood essential oil

Pour into a bottle. Let it "rest" for 7-10 days. The glycerin can feel sticky until it has a chance to settle into the mix. Shake well and apply with a cotton ball. Even dry skin needs cleansing, and the glycerin adds moisture that the witch hazel might take away

SCRUBS: Page 3
OILS: Page 4